Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Mob Trial Descends Into Soap Opera

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

Bent Finger Lou was looking at a picture from happier times.

There he was, posing for a snapshot between two smiling women. One was George Borgesi's mother, Manny; the other was Borgesi's wife, Alyson.

"We were all friends," Louis "Bent Finger Lou" Monacello admitted from the witness stand. That was before Monacello became a cooperating witness for the government in the case against Borgesi, the alleged mob capo, and his uncle, Joe Ligambi, the alleged boss of the Philly mob.

Monacello had the most difficult time talking about Borgesi's mother. "I always thought Manny was the only sincere one through the whole process," he testified.

But a few minutes later, Monacello was ripping George's younger brother, Anthony, as someone who was so jealous of Bent Finger Lou's favored position in the crime family that he was "constantly looking to stab me in the back."

While Monacello was teeing off on Anthony Borgesi, "Ant" was sitting right there in the courtroom soaking it up. Manny Borgesi draped a protective arm around her youngest son's muscular shoulders as Bent Finger Lou piled on the abuse.

Christopher Warren, George Borgesi's lawyer, used cross-examination to delve into such pressing legal issues as how Monacello used to date one of Anthony Borgesi's old girlfriends, and how Bent Finger Lou's ex-wife cut Anthony Borgesi's hair. Isn't this whole mob feud really just some bullshit over women, Warren asked.

Women had nothing to do with it, Monacello said. It might be bullshit, but "this bullshit could cause a serious problem," said Bent Finger Lou.  He was staring at Anthony Borgesi when he said it.

It was that kind of a day at the mob trial, as the cross-examination of Bent Finger Lou descended into soap opera, petty gangland feuds, and plenty of name-calling. Why was Uncle Joe pissed at the Geator with the Heater? Did George Borgesi really bite Fat Angelo Lutz on the forehead? And why did Bent Finger Lou label one government witness "a nut case" and another government witness "a mental misfit?"

"This is hysterical," Manny Borgesi was overhead saying. Better than court TV or any reality show, spectators agreed.

Ed Jacobs
The day in court began with George Borgesi and Uncle Joe wishing Anthony Borgesi a happy birthday.

Ed Jacobs, Ligambi's lawyer, asked Bent Finger Lou on cross-examination why he called government witness Anthony Aponick a "nut case."

Aponick was a New York mobster-turned-informant who was Borgesi's cellmate in a federal prison in West Virginia back in 2002 and 2003. According to Monacello, Borgesi and Aponick used to work off their frustrations by engaging in jailhouse wrestling matches.

Bent Finger Lou decided Aponick was a nut case because minutes after they first met, Aponick was hitting Bent Finger Lou up for a $10,000 loan.

"He was a New Yorker," Bent Finger Lou told the jury. Aggressive, and a typical "New York gangster." The introduction between the two men was barely underway when Bent Finger Lou's cell phone rang.

It was George Borgesi on the line, calling from prison. Of course, the feds were wiretapping Borgesi. The feds overheard Borgesi trashing Aponick's prowess as a wrestler. "You can pin him in 10 seconds," Borgesi told Monacello. "Tell him I can pin him in 5 seconds."

Aponick was an associate of the Bonnano crime family. "I was very leery of him," Monacello said, but he added charitably, "I wouldn't say he was an idiot." The two men went to Lou's Crab Bar, played the jukebox, and downed some shots. They talked about working together. But after the initial meeting, "I never heard from him again," Monacello testified.

Monacello was asked by Jacobs about the early stages of his relationship with George Borgesi.

"At the time I liked him," Monacello conceded. It was George Borgesi who introduced Bent Finger Lou to Frank "Frankie the Fixer" DiGiacomo, a South Philly plumber and wannabe gangster.

Frankie the Fixer "borrowed money from me constantly," Monacello complained. Bent Finger Lou labeled Frankie the Fixer as a "mental misfit" "who loves the life of being a wiseguy." But DiGiacomo was also a chronic deadbeat, Monacello said, a guy he had to repeatedly threaten to collect his money.

Monacello testified how he ran George Borgesi's bookmaking and loansharking business while Borgesi was in jail. And how he paid George Borgesi $300 a month, plus $16,000 every Christmas for seven straight years. He also regularly left money in the glove compartment of Borgesi's wife. She would leave the doors unlocked. Monacello said he would make a deposit and then lock her doors for her.

Bent Finger Lou
Jacobs was skeptical of Bent Finger Lou's story. He pointed out that Monacello was under FBI surveillance from 2003 to 2008, but was never spotted making money drops to benefit Borgesi's wife.

"I made sure I wasn't followed," Bent Finger Lou testified.

Yeah right, Jacobs said.

On cross-examination, Monacello was shown photos from the 1999 wedding of Anthony Borgesi. A few weeks before the bachelor party, Monacello testified, George Borgesi got so angry at another gang member, "Fat Angelo Lutz," that he bit Lutz on the forehead and spit out on the sidewalk a piece of flesh the "size of a quarter."

What was Fat Angelo's offense? Monacello said that the 5-foot-4, 400-pound Fat Angelo was responsible for setting up the bachelor party for Anthony Borgesi, and George Borgesi apparently thought Lutz did a terrible job.

Jacobs showed Monacello a picture from Anthony Borgesi's wedding. There was George Borgesi and Fat Angelo beaming like a couple of old pals.

"Do you see any kind of wound on Angelo?" Jacobs asked.

There's a "mark on his forehead," Monacello testified. He said he didn't know how many weeks had gone by between the wedding and the bachelor party. Monacello added that "Angelo was often, as I described, beaten by George Borgesi." Monacello described Lutz as George Borgesi's "lackey" and "slave."

Jacobs questioned Monacello about a 2009 incident caught on camera by Fox 29 News, where Uncle Joe Ligambi was seen screaming at Bent Finger Lou. The incident took place outside Ligambi's South Philly house. Uncle Joe was "venting" about DJ Jerry Blavat, Monacello said, for talking him into a disastrous interview with Philadelphia magazine.

Winding up his cross-examination, Jacobs walked Bent Finger Lou through the conditions of his cooperation agreement with the feds. Jacobs emphasized that under the contract, the government had the "sole discretion" to decide whether Monacello had told the truth, and the sole discretion to determine how valuable Monacello's cooperation had been. 

"So their hooks are in you forever," Jacobs said. If Bent Finger Lou came up short, the government had the right to take another look at his case, right?

"They could re-charge me all over again," Monacello admitted. He's looking at a maximum of 25 years in the slammer.

Bent Finger Lou, however, is already working on a new career. Jacobs quizzed Monacello about a telecommunications company that employed Monacello as a frequent guest lecturer.

"I teach people how to make money and save money," Monacello explained. Maybe Bent Finger Lou advises people to avoid borrowing money from loan sharks like himself, so they can don't have to pay 20 and 30 percent interest rates. 

During a courtroom break, Uncle Joe Ligambi was overheard asking a buddy in the courtroom, "Did you have Seattle last night?" The Seahawks routed the Saints on Monday Night Football 34-7. For the benefit of all NFL betters in the room, Uncle Joe then announced he liked Kansas City and Cincinnati this Sunday.

When court resumed, Christopher Warren, George Borgesi's lawyer, took over the cross-examination of Monacello. But Bent Finger Lou argued over Warren's questions, and frequently made speeches to the jury.

"Are you finished?" Warren asked.

"Yeah," Monacello replied. 

At one point, Monacello turned to Judge Eduardo Robreno. "Your Honor," he said about Warren, " I have no idea what this guy's talking about."

"You're just trying to confuse me," Bent Finger Lou told the defense lawyer.

Like Jacobs before him, Warren was curious about Bent Finger Lou's new avocation as a guest speaker. Warren's point was that Monacello was supposedly in hiding, in fear of retaliation from the mob. And yet, he was going around the country doing guest lectures.

"I have to make a living," Monacello replied. His telecommunications company employs 230 reps in 17 states, Monacello said.

And life as a cooperating witness isn't exactly a picnic, Monacello said. He had to move out of South Philly. Now he lives in the burbs. There's a cop car usually parked outside his house "seven nights a week."

"The neighborhood's well protected," Bent Finger Lou said.

When Monacello and Warren argued over the status of a mob associate, Monacello settled the dispute by announcing, "I'm in the mob, not you. I know who the associates are." Then Monacello corrected himself, saying he was a former mobster.

Warren tried to question Monacello about a conversation between Monacello and George Borgesi that was recorded by the government, but Bent Finger Lou balked. He insisted that the entire tape be played in court, so Warren obligingly went along.
George Borgesi

The 2003 tape, the product of a government wiretap, caught George Borgesi lecturing Bent Finger Lou about keeping his mouth shut when it came to their bookmaking and loansharking operation.

"Don't tell people your business," Borgesi told Monacello. "Don't tell people my business."

Monacello explained to the jury that on the tape, Borgesi was asking Bent Finger Lou to drive down to West Virginia to visit him in prison on a Sunday, in case he was "bored."

George Borgesi had just gotten a visit from brother Anthony, who lodged many complaints about Bent Finger Lou.

Anthony Borgesi was jealous because George Borgesi was letting him run the loansharking operation, Monacello testified. Anthony Borgesi would do anything to cause trouble between Monacello and George Borgesi, Monacello said.

Monacello had previously testified that George Borgesi had allegedly told him that Anthony Borgesi was not intelligent enough to run his operation, and did not know how to make money. "The only thing he's capable of," Monacello claimed George Borgesi told him, was "screwing young girls and lifting weights."

When Monacello and Warren argued over the meaning of the taped conversation between him and Borgesi, Bent Finger Lou said, "Let's play the tape again."

This time, the judge cut him off.

"We're not going to play the tape again," the judge said.


  1. Lou Monacello is an absolute disgrace to humanity. I hope the jury sees through this nonsense. Georgie and Joe belong home with their families.

    1. So do the people they killed

    2. agrees with you James. Joe looked so tired in court on Monday and Georgie was rumored to suffer with bells palsy. :/

    3. Oh poor Bor Gay Z I GUESS hes just starting to feel the pain for al the PAIN HE CUZ other families by killing & beatin ppl up Good he needs to get Cancer of the Throat and Fingers that ugly freckled face scum crumb bum..etc Fuck that pig

    4. Fuck these people its is a soap
      opera nobody telling the truth
      Whats the next lie yous ain't actors are the feds the producers
      From this shits liessss!

  2. From this article it seems like the Feds need to go home..and so does the defendants. it's so obvious it's all personal agenda on Monacello. What does the brother and his lifestyle have to do with the case? Does he have any siblings? That is the way brothers/sisters talk about each other at times...that's the way families are. This case is a trainwreck from the beginning. The Feds need to go home, and so does the defendants!

  3. Well thought out.....^^^^^....sounds as if an English major wrote it.......^^^

    1. ^^^^^Thanks professor, maybe you can school the US attorney's on law and their abuse of power...

    2. Don't mention it.....I'm sure u were on that short bus to grade school as well....you could use the help as well...

    3. True.....haha....^^^^^^^

    4. Professor, are the one of the alleged victims of Monacello?

    5. Chief....please...try your best to form full sentences...I know its hard....

    6. I guess your degree got you nowhere and you can't fit in no where. Typical of those who live in academia. To make joke of proper sentences on a blog. Weak pal, very weak..

    7. Muscles marinara....u can do better than that....cmon...think hard....get those two brain cells working.....I know u got that degree of yours from 10th street...

  4. So should Frankie Flowers and Billy Veasey and numerous others should be with their families but were gunned down before they had the chance.

    1. U mention these names like they were inocent too. Just in the wrong place at the wrong time i suppose. They never shook anybody down

  5. Philly mob??? You mean RATFELLAS!!!!

  6. Ralph - This Bent Finger Lou guy is a real character....Is he walking the streets or in Jail?. He must be a bad ass because in the old days he would have been found in a dumpster behind Murphys at 20th & Oregon,,,,,ala Frank Sindone.

  7. The two pictures say it ALL EDDY JACOBS blowing smoke BOY GEORGE waving GOOD BYE. Anonymous gangster

    1. anonymous gangster, you call yourself, so are you in the gangster life? You are the one proclaiming "gangster" or are you a "gangsta". I never read anywhere that the defendants proclaim to be the ghetto slang word "gangster".

    2. Criminal gangster will do anonymous gangster hows that cus lol

    3. I like the pic of Bor Gay Z waving goodbye I hope wen he gets sentenced they put that on the cover of daily news what a great wave better than a pageant girly wave.He nos hus day r marked. If the old heads wanted to make a deal with me to kill him id b on that like a mobster in tapes ..lol I would love the honor to torture him for days then feed him to the pigs but save one piece of skin with a big Freckle on it for my trophy and put it in a clear doggie poop bag.Look at it every anniv of the ppl he killed.and of course every year send a piece or part of this body to his mother& fatherbas a reminder that u should have killed him at birth.UGLY SCUM CRUMB ....SOON TO B RAT # 103

    4. Jacobs is blowing smoke alllllll the way to the BANK oh yeah BOR GAy Z is known 4 not paying his lawyers.if u remember his last case he got a beatin in prison from the NY mobsters for saying he wasn't gona pay Cutler his other lawyer. I hope Jacobs got sum money up front...if im not mistaken the last lawyer b4 Jacobs didnt get paid either.WOW u gotta b a real jackass to represent Bor Gay Z ...Hes So Broke its no JOKE

  8. You mean wangster's!!!!

  9. This tree house gang just a disgrace to italian heretege

  10. " gangster" " gangsta" wangsters"

  11. Philly Mob!!! RATS AND FAGS!!!,,,,,,

    1. Especially the young male meth dealers, they have to have sex with the older mob members (you didn't you know that?)

  12. Where's Steve Mazone? That fruit cake!!!!

    1. He ain't no fruit cake u asshole hes the most RESPECTFUL MAN you'll ever meet.Hes around y don't u go meet him at 13th n Shunk amd tell him that to hes face. .You Anonymous Drag Queen Mary.

    2. Are u SERIOUS ?????really ur call Steve Mazzone A Fruit Cake ..And your out here as ANONYMOUS WHOS THE FRUIT U FAGGOT PUNK..REVEL YOURSELF

    3. Very mad...serious....^^^.....lots of capital letters

  13. You still tanning Steve?

  14. Stevie mazzone and Johnny chang are a class act.

  15. who's talking about wacking john gottie

  16. Steveie Mazzone, Johnny Chang are shiting

  17. Sammy is solid, so is DB ,put out da fuckin cigarette n see a doctor! !!!!

    1. Why isn't BorGayZ wife not on trial ....after all she is involved. Why the fuck would u marry a jailhouse criminal u have to really b desperate to want not only a soon to b Rat but an ugly scum bag oh yeah thats right he hasnt had the chance to beat the shit out of u yet u married him while he was in the pen... oh boy if he gets out make sure u have speed dial 911 on ur phone.... if he gets out ....He use to beat the shit out of Dina ..she was another who he got involved in his business. .



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